Friday, April 04, 2008

An Ode to Books

Before I was a writer, I was a reader. From as early as I can remember, I always had a book in my hand. My parents used to have to tell me not to bring the book to the supper table because it was rude. I would spend hours lounging on my bed, book in hand, my nose burrowed deep into the pages. In my elementary years, it was Nancy Drew and the Wizard of Oz books. In middle school, I started picking up more adult fiction like Rosalind Laker and Patricia Veryan. And of course, high school I started reading lots of historical fiction.

If I had only one book left to read, I went into panic mode and had to beg my mom to take me to the library. I couldn't stand being left for the weekend or even one night without a book by my side. I love books so much that I have worked at one library and three bookstores in my lifetime. Moving is a major hassle because I have boxes and boxes of books. And since my husband loves books, that's only added to the load!

Sometimes I'll buy a book and won't read it for years. It will sit on my shelf, waiting for the appropriate time for me to pick it up and delve into its world. Sometimes I will buy a nonfiction book thinking that I can use it at some point in my research, even though it has nothing to do with the current topic I'm working on. I have several that I have already used, and I know that there are others that I will need in the future.

Then there's the library. I can go there and get lost in the all the stacks. My arms are usually overflowing with them and it's a precarious walk between the library and my car. If I see a book that captures my interest, I don't want to wait until the next trip to read it - I want it now! Unfortunately, checking out this many books also leads to big fines if I don't make it back to the library in time!

Which leads to my next point. There are some books that I have been checking out of the library again and again, to the point where I can justify buying it. And besides, there's something so darn nice about having it right there on my shelf to pick up whenever I want.

Someday, in our next house, I will have a library. It will have wall to wall bookcases made of cherry wood or oak or maple. There will be plush carpet underneath my feet, a fireplace, and a comfortable couch and chairs to snuggle in. This will be my refuge. And when I look at the walls lined with books, with all their stories and characters and information, I will smile in utter contentment.

4 comments:

  1. Wow - we're totally soul sisters!!! Right down to the library fines :) No fireplace in my little library, but one day we hope to do proper built-in bookshelves. Right now it's Billy from Ikea *g*.

    And I've been counting down the days to the used book sale in support of the library I volunteer at - it's a week tomorrow!!!!!! I'll be there at least a half hour before it opens, so keep your fingers crossed for good weather for me.

    Do you catalogue your books?

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  2. I'm right there with you! Anytime I see one of those movies that show an old manor house with a library with the high ceilings, floor to ceiling bookshelves and one of those rolling ladders, I imagine myself right in front of that fire, surrounded by all of those books. I also hold onto books without reading them, often for quite a while.

    One of my favorite things to do is to lend out my books. There's nothing I love more than recommending a book to a friend and having her love it. It's almost as good as fixing up two people and seeing them fall in love. :)

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  3. Tess - Oh, I love library sales! I mark it on my calendar every year. *grin* No, I don't catalogue my books yet, but I did get that email you sent me about the program I could use. I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet, darn it. :-)

    Lisa - YES! The library in the manor house! Want, want, WANT.

    I love recommending books to people, but I have a really hard time lending them out for a very selfish reason - I like my books to stay in perfect condition. Ha! No bent pages, no broken spines, etc. I have loosened up on this over the years, though. *grin*

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  4. My mom couldn't ground us to our rooms when we were kids because my older brother and I loved reading so much. We would've happily been locked in our rooms with good books.

    I love to loan books but I get frustrated when they aren't returned. How do I solve that dilemma?

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